Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council have finalised plans to build an energy-from-waste (EfW) facility on a trading estate surrounded by greenbelt land.
The proposal had to undergo a public inquiry and received the approval of the communities secretary Eric Pickles in July 2012.
The plant, dubbed EnviRecover, will be built on Hartlebury Trading Estate, Worcestershire. It is expected to become operational in 2017 and to divert some 200,000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year. The councils claim it will deliver saving of £128m for the period until 2042.
It will be developed by Mercia Waste Management as part of the contract with the local authorities and handed over to them as an asset when the contract ends in 2023.
The project was supposed to receive around £53.5m in Private Finance Initiative credit from Defra for the period until 31 December. However, the councils said that they had reached an agreement with the department on the funding to be reduced to £23.5m (see cabinet meeting report, right).
The project is one of the three under the scrutiny of the National Audit Office, which will study whether the Defra funding was well spent.
Anthony Blagg, Worcestershire County Council cabinet member for environment, said: “Staying as we are and not pursuing the energy from waste proposal, which is a proven piece of technology and has been identified as the best solution after considering a number of alternative options, would cost both counties £128m as things stand today.”
Mercia Waste Management said: “We are primed and ready to press on with contract variation, construction and commissioning of this essential piece of waste management infrastructure.”